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ZINC (Zn) – TREE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT

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WSFNR-20-11C
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Zinc (Zn) is a hard, brittle, bluish-silver metal resistant to corrosion. Zinc can exist in ten isotopes, five stable, and the rest all short-lived. It was known in the 1200s in India, and later identified and named from German for “tin.” It is used for galvanizing steel, and in batteries, coins, castings, paints, sunscreen, photocopiers, and cathode ray tubes. Zinc is a required metal in trees. Zinc is a divalent (+2) metal cation, but unlike most other metals, does not undergo valence changes (i.e. no oxidation / reduction cycles). There are many zinc-using or zinc-activated enzymes in trees. Zinc functions to activate proteins, sometimes as an active site, and sometimes as a structural or conformational component. Many times zinc is seen cross-linking sulfur in proteins.

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Community and Urban Forestry
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